Essential to every Cherry MX mechanical keyboard, there are three different options to choose from – Alphas, Betas & Rams.
The Alphas design is based off Braun aesthetics & Dieter Rams’ work of design. The Betas feature center positioned legends. The community favorite runic Rams are back.
Two classic options are available, the Text Mods and it’s pictographic counterpart Micons Mods. Both kits come with enough keycaps to completely dress standard 60% and Tenkeyles keyboards. There are 3 extra keycaps included to maximize the versatility of the kits – a 1.5u BACKSPACE and the 1.75u SHIFT + 1u FN duo, so hobbyist keyboards such as HHKB style can be covered to some extent.
The Micons are an exclusive iconography convention that I invented and designed back in the day aiming for a retro futuristic aesthetic representation for keyboard symbols. All of the glyphs should theoretically be self explanatory for the average computer user.
Standalone numpads are available in three different variations – the Alphapad, the Betapad and the all new Viopad. The Alphapad is designed to be used with Alphas + Text Mods whilst the Betapad looks best when combined with Betas + Micons Mods. It is recommended to combine the Viopad with the all new Wolfgang monokit (see below).
These two sibling monokits have the same purple color that was offered on Round 2. Featuring the classic noire legends sublimated over violet keycaps, these kits come in two distinct versions – Wolfgang & Manfred.
Wolfgang features the classy Alphas combined with enough Text Mods to completely fill a vaiety of keyboards ranging from 40% to Tenkeyless layouts, including custom builds, thanks to the extra bottom row plus a 1.5u BACKSPACE, a couple SHIFTs and a stepped CAPS LOCK. Even 104 full-size layouts are covered, when combined with the Viopad.
Manfred features the same colorscheme, but with the runic Rams combined with the Micons Mods. A wide range of keyboards can be covered with this single kit, designed for those who prefer a more chaotic and mysterious appearance.
“My personal opinion is that the Manfred kit looks better when combined with keyboards such as Anne Pros, Pok3rs, multiple XD’s, TADA 68s, uniqey’s C70s and all the RAMA keyboards. Basically, it’s a kit for 60%, 65% and 75% keyboards, where the Function Row isn’t present – due to the conflict that could occur between nordic, numerals and latin glyphs. It works with larger form factors too as the necessary keycaps are there.”
Hobbyist & Exotic
Text and Micons add-on kits for enthusiast keyboards such as Vortexgear Race, Filco MiniLa, a multitude of HHKB / Winkeyless and custom layouts are available in Canvas XDA. The kits aren’t standalone modifiers – which means that they require either the Text Mods or the Icon Mods, on top of the Alphas/Betas/Rams to properly cover a given keyboard. The Exotic kit is only available with the text variation.
40s & Ortho
These are standalone modifier kits for ortholinear and 40% keyboards, such as OLKB Planck & Preonic, Vortexgear Core and several others. They are available in both options – Text and Micons.
Split & Ergo
Available in two different options – Text & Micons, these are standalone modifier kits for split keyboards such as Infinity ErgoDox, Kinesis and others.
Layouts & Systems
The Alphas variation is available for a multitude of Nordic countries and also Germany plus the United Kingdom. There’s also Mac / Windows compatibility kits and deep dish homing keycaps. The deep dish keycaps are very subtle but noticeable, just like the ones featured in the previous round.
The classic Bauhaus modifiers are back, designed with both Text and Micons, they are standalone modifiers for 60% keyboards and accents for other form factors. There’s a small new kit designed as a tribute to Dieter Rams, called Dieter, containing the silhouette design of his iconic glasses. For those who prefer a minimalistic look there are two kits – Mono Alphas and Mono Betas containing numerals and punctuation symbols to complement their correspondent larger kits.
Spacebars & Extras
Extra spacebar kits, depending on the specific layout one of these kits may be required. All keycaps are convex. An Alternate Frow kit is available. There’s also extra Arrows for those who need and a Sym kit, with the sole purpose of providing symmetric columns of modifiers.
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What typeface will be used for the dyesub process?
The exact one seen on the child kits and renders. The Alphas and Betas are the exact same from the previous rounds.
How thick are XDA PBT keycaps?
About 1.3mm thick.
Are the Canvas XDA Round 1, 2 and 3 interchangeable?
Yes, the colors are the same, beside the natural color variation that will occur due to the fact that a stock of resin must be ordered by the manufacturer. Plastic resin bought in different periods of time is bound to look slightly different, no batches are the exact same.
What’s the inspiration for this project?
Canvas XDA is how I feel about Braun aesthetics and the influence of Dieter Rams to the industry of products and design.
From custom merchandising, sleeves, hand made artisan keycaps to stickers and other keyboard items, if you are interested in contributing with your talents and know-how, or using Canvas XDA visuals on other products please drop me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) – I would love to hear your ideas and help you bring your vision to reality. Perhaps we can work together!